Conviction wrongful: grim killer
Man in prison for infamous crime also seeks reduced sentence
Intent not proven: killer
The man convicted in one of the grisliest killings in Winnipeg’s history argued before the province’s highest court Friday that his murder conviction should be overturned and reduced to manslaughter.
Sydney Teerhuis-Moar was convicted in December 2008 of second-degree murder in relation to the July 2003 death of 38-year-old Robin Robert Greene, who was stabbed 68 times, beheaded, gutted and subjected to other atrocities inside a downtown hotel room.
Teerhuis-Moar admitted to the killing, but claimed he was so drunk he couldn’t remember what happened. A jury convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
In January 2009 Teerhuis-Moar appealed his conviction, citing 13 reasons that he ought not have been found guilty of murder, a charge that requires proof of intent.
On Friday, the Manitoba Court of Appeal heard his arguments. Teerhuis-Moar, who suffered a bout of flesh-eating disease last year, had to have sheriff’s officers drag him into the courtroom on a wooden chair because his wheelchair was too wide for the doorway and he couldn’t walk.
In a hand-written letter to the Winnipeg Sun that Teerhuis-Moar penned from Saskatchewan Penitentiary last month, he said he’s suffered numerous health problems “from hep C to arthritis, diabetes and a rare blood disorder.”
He sat crouched in his wheelchair showing little emotion at Friday’s hearing, where he was dressed in his federal-issue blue T-shirt with a brace around his entire left leg.
Greg Brodsky, Teerhuis-Moar’s lawyer, argued his client’s conviction should be overturned because, among other things, there was no reason to show jurors gruesome photos of the murder scene, which Brodsky said served only “to inflame the passions of the jurors.”
Brodsky also questioned the judge’s instructions to the jury before their deliberations and claimed that the jury selection process was flawed.
In Teerhuis-Moar’s letter to the Sun last month, he claimed he personally knew one of the jurors.
“We had been acquainted back in the late 1980s at Winnipeg’s St. Regis Hotel,” the letter states. “I was not exactly kind to her back then.”
The Appeal Court reserved its decision, which will be delivered in written form at a date yet to be determined.
I think the conviction should be reduced on the fact that this man was intoxicated and had disorganized thinking and impaired judgment. He embellished his letters to that director, but really had no idea what he had done. I believe he blacked out and truly doesn't remember what he did as he awoke to a horrific scene inside his hotel room. I believe that he did not have the required state of mind; the intent to kill the victim. His charge should be reduced to manslaughter.